During a recent Georgia Rural Development Council meeting at Floyd County’s Zion Farms, the 340-acre equestrian center was presented as an engine for rural economic growth, attracting visitors to Georgia from across the world.

Located approximately 15 miles north of Rome and 90 miles northwest of Atlanta, Zion Farms received more than 50 leaders from across Georgia last week, who included Gov. Sonny Perdue and members of the Georgia Rural Development Council, a collection of economic developers from rural areas throughout the state.

“We’ve welcomed guests from as far away as Belgium and Russia,” said Rena Hammond Cooper Webb, director of Zion Farms and lifelong resident of the property. She added that the farm has also done events for Pirelli Tire NA LLC, an Italian-owned tire manufacturing company that has its North American headquarters in Rome.

When the farm is not the backdrop for business conferences or receptions, it also acts as an equestrian center, offering family-oriented riding camps for both Western- and English-style training. A 14,000 square-foot boarding stable houses the farm’s own horses and offers space to temporary boarders as well.

And, while the estate is primarily an equestrian center, it also offers non-riders opportunities for hiking, fishing, fox hunting and overnight lodging, Mrs. Webb said. She also noted plans to implement a local garden and vineyard that were developed by the farm’s resident chef, Brad Hill, who worked at Atlanta’s Brasserie Le Coze before joining Zion Farms.

For more information on the farm, visit www.zionfarms.com or contact Ms. Webb at (706) 235-8002.